As polling stations opened early in the morning on 12 February 2017, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation's observers mission started monitoring the voting of Turkmenistan's citizenry. The mission members operate in Ashgabat, Turkmenbashi, Mary as well as in the Republic's regions and rural districts.
The SCO Secretary General visited polling stations in Ashgabat and the Akhal Region, talked to the voters, members of the local election commissions and with observers from the invited nations and international organisations.
"A holiday spirit and common joy reign at all the polling stations, people of different ages are arriving to vote with smiles on their faces and in a festive mood. Many of them stress the special significance of electing a new head of state, and connect this crucial event with the furthering of their country's steady progress," Rashid Alimov emphasised in an interview to local media.
"It is obvious that the national authorities have carried out serious work in holding the election in strict compliance with the provisions of the national election legislation, which meets international standards. The fact that the polling stations are equipped to ensure voting for different categories of people, including people with special needs, also indicates that the election process corresponds to generally accepted international standards," noted the SCO Secretary General.
The polling stations opened across the country at 7 a.m. and will stay open till 7 p.m. local time. The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation's observer mission will continue monitoring the voting process.